Explore the Excellent Sound Mixing of ‘The Social Network’

Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake in The Social Network
Photo: Columbia Pictures

The Soundworks Collection frequently presents featurettes exploring the sound work done on upcoming features and today’s profile on The Social Network discusses at least one aspect of the sound mix that is particularly excellent.

At one point in The Social Network there is a meeting that takes place between Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) at San Francisco’s Ruby Sky club. It’s a business meeting of sorts and what makes it so great is the way Fincher doesn’t have his sound team dial down the music so the dialogue can be heard, instead he keeps the music cranked and has his actors shouting to be heard.

So often in films directors will introduce the audience to a nightclub sequence and use the thumping bass to set the mood as they walk in, but once they sit down to have a conversation the music dies down and they just talk like normal. Fincher doesn’t do that and if you remember in Seven there’s a similar sequence in the back halls of a nightclub as Mills and Somerset come upon yet another one of Doe’s victims and the bass from the club on the other side of the walls is penetrating the scene to the point Mills even has to ask about turning the music off. It’s a small added sense of reality that benefits the film greatly.

With that long intro, I give you sound re-recording mixer and supervisor sound editor Ren Kylce and sound re-recording mixer Michael Semanick as they talk about the sound design and mixing of The Social Network as well as mixing the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross into the film.